The Melbourne Storm take an imposing 70% win record against the Raiders into this fixture, but the Raiders actually have the wood on their rivals on Saturday, winning 3 of their 5 clashes at this venue. Where do you start when you talk about the Storm and semi-final football? They are such a professional outfit. Look at their experience and track record. It is simply outstanding. Craig Bellamy is a master at getting his side to the big one and here should be no different.
The Raiders won’t die wondering though. Hodgson will be better for the run and their injury concerns have subsided. Ricky Stuart has been talking them up all week and their ten-game winning streak was no fluke. They disposed of a very good side last week in Penrith, and play a style of football that will have Melbourne on edge to say the very least. However I keep coming back to Melbourne’s composure and ability to win big games, to see them come through with the goods against Canberra. I am tipping Melbourne ($1.44 William Hill). The outright win odds are short, so we definitely need to look at Margin betting for some serious value, and backing the Storm to win 1-12 ($2.90 Bet365) looks an excellent play. Hard to believe in such a big game the 13+ option is shorter odds!
Sometimes you need to stick loyal to the big men whom help you feather your nest. Earlier this season we landed the spoils when Kevin Proctor got the chocolates as first try scorer against the Tigers I think it was. He runs great angles close to the line and Cooper Cronk is his link man, so let’s stick with Proctor to Score the First Try ($26 Sportsbet) on Saturday night and send Melbourne on their merry way.
As for a cheeky double – you could do worse than doubling up the Sharks 1-12 into the Storm 1-12. Seems like a lot of value in that. I am on.
Good luck and cannot wait for Grand Final week to roll around.